Is Hell a Real Place?
Is Hell a Real Place? - By Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2022/12/is-hell-fire-real-place.html
13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:
14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
14”Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
15And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
16But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.” (Isaiah 5:14-16)
There seems to be a great division on beliefs in the presence of what is called in the Bible, 'Hell” and if it actually exist. Just as Satan has propagated the supreme lie that he doesn't exist in the minds of those who are in rebellion against a Holy God, so does the same arch enemy of what is holy, tries to convince these same people that there is no such thing as “hell”. Logically, they fool themselves thinking if there is no Satan, and no hell...what do I need with God anyways? Even some denominations and religious leaders diminish the horror of what hell really is!
First, let me quote a minister that doesn’t believe in an eternal hell and that God is a God of Love,
“For centuries, many ministers have been preaching "hellfire and brimstone" sermons and promoting a religion of fear by teaching that the unsaved face an eternity of torture. The common teaching is that incorrigibly wicked people will be tormented forever in some fiery, macabre manner in a terrifying place called hell. This horrible fate usually conjures up in people's minds visions of an ever-burning hellfire where sinners are continually roasted on spits, and a devil with horns and a tail runs around sticking his captives with a pitchfork.”
Sadly, even this minister can't wrap his mind around a place the bible calls “HELL”. They just can't believe that a God of love would banish anybody to such a place.
It is hard to convince some folks that God is not only a God of love, but also the God of judgment. He is a God of justice, a God of consuming fire, and a God who will not allow sin into His presence. Are we talking about the same God who passed judgment on ancient people who rebelled against Him?. Do you mean the same God that told the Israelites when they entered Canaan to not spare man, woman, or child from the sword, but to slay them all? Do you mean that God?
2 “Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:
3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.”(Deuteronomy 12:2-3)
God gave the Canaanites 400 years to repent of their evil, but when it came time, judgment fell upon them, and Israel was commanded to destroy them all. God is patient, but when judgment in finally arrives, no one wants to be in the way of God's wrath.
STRANGE BELIEFS ABOUT HELL
Some denomination and well meaning Christians believe that hell is a synonym of the grave. They go to great lengths to prove that Hades, the grave, and hell are all the same thing. Then why does so many Old Testament and New Testament writers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit make so much about the wages of sin and the eternal destruction of the soul in hell? Let’s take a journey to look at some of the scriptures that point to the fallacy of not believing that the penalty for not having Jesus Christ cover your sins with His own shed blood is an eternal home in hell’s unquenchable fire.
EXACTLY WHAT IS HELL?
The word “hell” appears 54 times in the Holy Bible. Hell is clearly defined in your Bible as a place of torment and burning. Only a fool who rejects what he reads would say hell is the grave or only separation from God. But there are denominations that dismiss the concept of an eternal living hell, and those who try to make it a biblical metaphor and a loving God would not send anyone to such a place. But is that true? True, God is a loving God and He desires that all come to repentance and be saved. God does not send anyone to hell, YOU do and God gives them what they wanted, (separation from God for all eternity)
“ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)
But God has a limit to His patience, as noted in many passages found in your Bible.
But what does some of the leading religious leaders in our modern times believe about the concept of hell?
What some have said about hell:
Billy Graham – The fire is symbolic when Jesus talks about hell fire. He does not believe it is literal fire, but rather he believes the fire could possibly mean a burning thirst for God that is never quenched.
Pope Benedict – Believes in literal hell fire that is eternal.
Pope John Paul II – Heaven is not a physical place nor an abstraction, but that fullness with the communion with God. Hell is the ultimate consequence of sin itself. He says hell is not a place, but rather the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God. Hell is symbolic. People that aren’t “recognized” say it is separation from God, no fire. And then you have those troublemakers that agree with Jesus and the rest of the testimony contained in the book.
*Purgatory – An intermediate state between heaven and hell. You burn there until you are pure and then enter into heaven.
(Studies in the book.com)(not found in the pages of your bible)
“The people that are always trying to air condition hell are the ones that are going there.” - Ruckman
As mentioned, God does not send us to this place that Jesus spoke of where the worm dieth not, nor fire quenched. YOU DO, out of your own self will to reject a free offer of salvation found only in Jesus Christ you choose to live eternally in hell's torment.
43 “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:43-48)
Jesus was obviously not advocated to cut off a member of your body and a person that takes these verses literally, but making a point that if you live like the devil, you will make your home with him in the end of time. He speaks of fire unquenchable and where the worm that eats your flesh, dies not. Jesus is quite literal here.
Jesus speaks of a very descriptive place that our Lord does not wish to send anyone to, as that is not His will, but it is our will, our choice to reject the only provision of escaping such a place. See, God hates sin and cannot be in its presence. God is love, and He extends that love when He sent His only Begotten Son to die in our place.
So God's love is conditional in that He will only allow us into His presence on one condition, that our sins be forgiven. More on that in a minute. But let us explore. Is there a penalty, a torment and a real place called hell? Jesus told His disciples concerning speaking the truth of God:
27 “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:27-33)
So here I am speaking from the housetops using the internet to warn all who will listen about a place so horrible that I wouldn't want my worst enemy to endure. I am not here to scare you, but to warn those of you who are listening with your spiritual ears......Realize that you are a flawed individual with a sin filled past, and born to sin as a nature of humanity...the only way to escape what I speak of is found in this message.
Let us give you more biblical support for the truth God warned us about.
WHERE IS HELL LOCATED?
It is below your feet right now, in the heart of the earth !!!
9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?”(Isaiah 14:9-10),
“ The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.” (Proverbs 15:24)
Jesus spoke of this very fact in the lesson of the Rich man and Lazarus.
When Jesus spoke of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus being separated by a huge gulf and the rich man being in torment, was He just telling a story? Was He stretching the truth, just to make a point? Let’s look at the passage. This is Jesus speaking.
16:19 “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”(Luke 1:19-24)
Notice that those in Paradise have names, such as Abraham and Lazarus..but the “rich man” is nameless, faceless and is anybody who rejects the free gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ could be this person. (could this be you?)
Our Lord was sinless and only told what is true, it would make sense that He would not tell a falsehood, just to make a point. Jesus spoke of things spiritual that were being played out in the natural realm. Do we think that He was just joking and He didn’t mean it as He spoke it, and exactly as we take it? This place of the abode of the dead, encompassed hell and paradise, as the above verses speak of, but Jesus emptied Paradise when He was raised from the dead.
8 “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things).” (Ephesians 4:8-10)
Where Jesus took those whose abode was Paradise, is for God to know, but we know that since Jesus was crucified and descended into the lower parts of the earth, to reveal Himself as the Messiah, to those who entered into this temporary place of rest, were removed somewhere in the third heaven.
But hell and it's torment is still there, as it has not been emptied as of yet.
Did you know that below your feet are millions and millions and millions of souls crying, screaming, weeping, wailing, and gnashing on their teeth, and begging for a drop of water for their tongue because they are tormented without rest with fire and brimstone and they know they are not getting out? Did you know the only consolation one can find in hell is to think about (which I assume is hard to do because of the torture) one’s life on earth (Luke 16:24-25)? It's not like it is here on the surface, but those who died without Jesus Christ as Savior, or looked for Him coming in the future, ended up here in a spiritual realm of separation from God and are in torment...
WHAT HELL IS LIKE
The Party in Hell has been canceled due to fire …..
11 “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.(Matthew 8:12),
Jesus speaks of this awful place further in Matthew 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, 13:28). IN fact, Jesus spoke more of the dangers of hellfire than He did about the coming Kingdom of God. Some impudent people speak of joining their friends for a party in hell, but there will be no joy, no happiness, no light, no love, no friendships, and no party in hell........only torment! Scripture gives us details about hell.
There is darkness, weeping and gashing of teeth (2 Samuel 22:6, Psalm 18:5) There are sorrows in hell (Job 11:8 )
Hell is deep (Psalm 86:13) Lowest hell (Psalm 116:3 )
There is pain in hell (James 3:6)
Your tongue is set on fire in hell (Isaiah 33:10-17 )
There is a devouring fire, and everlasting burnings (Matthew 25:41 )
Everlasting Fire (Revelation 14:9-12, 20:10) You are tormented with fire and brimstone in God’s presence (Revelation 21:8)
It is a lake of fire and that is the second death
Who goes to hell? (Psalm 9:17, Psalm 55:15) All the wicked and all the nations that forget God (Proverbs 27:20) Hell is never full (Isaiah 5:14) Hell has enlarged herself to make room
(Isaiah 14:15 )The Devil will go there – he is not there yet, but he will be.
(Revelation 20:10 Ezekiel 31:16-17) Cast into hell (2 Peter 2:4)
The angels that sinned have been cast down to hell, and are chained there until the day of judgment (Revelation 20:11-15, Isaiah 24:17-23 )
The angels that have yet to sin and rebel will be shut up in hell (Revelation 11:7, 17:8) The Antichrist is right now in the bottomless pit and will descend out of the bottomless pit, but will be thrown into the Lake of Fire when Jesus comes to put down all rebellion and sets up His Kingdom. The Anti-Christ will be possessed by Satan, but for now, the AC is not revealed until the timing is right in God's plan for mankind.
Whoever is not found in the book of life,
14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14-15)
That's just a quick glimpse of the huge amount of scriptural support and I encourage you to take a bible in hand and look at each verse, the surrounding context and prove to yourself the concept of a devil's hell waiting for those who reject the only provision of escaping this eternal doom and everlasting destruction.
THE MAJORITY OF MANKIND WILL GO TO HELL
But with all these biblical verses to support the truth of the concept of hell spoken in your Bibles, a majority of mankind will end up going to this awful place. Why? Free will and being deceived by Satan the devil. Men revel in their wickedness and the lust of the flesh. Those who reject God's provision will have to face the consequence of their own choice. We can accept His offer of salvation, or reject it. Unfortunately, most human beings will reject Jesus the Messiah. They will not obey Him. In this generation, more than 90 per cent of the worlds population are outright idol worshipers, godless, secular or atheists.
Remember when God destroyed the world by a devastating flood in the Antediluvian age of Noah? He only saved 8 souls and some animals (2 by 2 of unclean and 7 each of clean animals) to repopulate the earth. So when God judges this earth again by fire, sadly only a remnant of all the people who have ever lived will find their way to heaven and the goal of salvation.
SOME BELIEVE THE SOUL OF MAN WILL BE ANNIHILATED?
There are some Christian fundamental churches that believe that when God sends those who have not accepted His free pardon and offer of His grace and mercy, found in His only Son, they will cease to exist and be destroyed. They don't believe that men will be tormented for all eternity in a devil's hell. They believe they will be annihilated and will be no more, either in body or in spirit. But what is the truth found in your Bible?
Does the spirit of man live on even after death? Some believe that they do not...they point to what Solomon said:
“ For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
They call this soul sleep, meaning the mortal man is forgotten and knows nothing, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. True, the mortal body dies and goes to dust, but does that mean that the spirit is not still alive and fully conscious? Let me refer you to these websites that supports what I have believed and gives many more scriptures that prove that man at his creation, each of us, are created in the image of God and at that moment will live forever, either in a glorious state, or a eternally damned state of separation from God.
“Without a doubt the human soul is immortal. This is clearly seen in many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments: Psalm 22:26; 23:6; 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Daniel 12:2 says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Similarly, Jesus Himself said referring to the sheep and goat judgment:
41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.(Matthew 25:46).
With the same Greek word used to refer to both “punishment” and “life,” it is clear that both the wicked and the righteous have an eternal/immortal soul.
The unmistakable teaching of the Bible is that all people, whether they are saved or lost, will exist eternally, in either heaven or hell. True life or spiritual life does not cease when our fleshly bodies pass away in death. Our souls will live forever, either in the presence of God in heaven if we are saved, or in punishment in hell if we reject God’s gift of salvation. In fact, the promise of the Bible is that not only will our souls live forever, but also that our bodies will be resurrected. This hope of a bodily resurrection is at the very heart of the Christian faith.
12 “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”(1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
“While all souls are immortal, it is important to remember that we are not eternal in the same way that God is. God is the only truly eternal being in that He alone is without a beginning or end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist. All other sentient creatures, whether they are human or angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While our souls will live forever once we come into being, the Bible does not support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our souls are immortal, as that is how God created them, but they did have a beginning; there was a time they did not exist.” (Gotquestions.org)
So taking that thought further, if we are to always live after creation in some form, whether physical or spirit, then each man and woman must decide where they wish to spend eternity. Remember, the reason any of us were born is to make a decision of what we will do concerning the Man/God Jesus Christ...will we accept His gift of salvation bought in His own blood, or by our own free will and rebellion, refuse that gift and exclude our sins being forgiven?
6 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:6-9)
BOOK OF REVELATION DESCRIBES MANKIND'S ETERNAL HOME
Prophecy in your bible consist of 26-27% of fulfilled and unfilled prophecy. Many of the Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled, some are waiting to be fulfilled. But Revelation past the 3rd chapter is prophecy of the future. But the end result of the whole of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is where men choose to spend eternity...either in glory with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, or banished to outer darkness and cast alive into what the Bible calls the “Lake of Fire”.
4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4-5)
A glorious picture of those who have overcome this world by the blood of the Lamb. It speaks of the first resurrection that began with Jesus resurrection and will end when He comes to set up His Kingdom for a 1000 years. Fast forward from Revelation chapter 4 of the 24 elders sitting on thrones, a clear picture of the Church rewarded and sitting on thrones, now we sit in judgment of men and angels as Paul spoke of in 1st Corinthians:
2 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3, Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1st Corinthians 6:2-3)
The book speaks of a glorious future for those who have accepted Jesus as personal Savior, but it also gives a damning description of those who reject Him.
GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT OF GOD
This is found at the Great White Throne judgment that brings all the lost of all the generations of mankind, from the beginning of creation till the last person born human on earth.
12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12-15)
What are these books that are opened that God will judge all of mankind that have rejected His free offer of mercy and grace? My discernment on that is they are the books of your Bible...God's Word. It was designed and written as a love letter telling about God's love for mankind, sending His only Begotten Son to die in our place and to save them from their sins. But now, they are opened as their judge. They have committed the “unpardonable sin” that cannot be forgiven. They have rejected the only way to enter into the presence of God Almighty, Jesus Christ and refused the call of God's Holy Spirit that was drawing them to a knowledge of their condition and need for a Savior.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)
If anything is certain about the future, there is a judgment according to whether they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior or reject that message, for all who ever lived and died. How can anyone who reads the words of his bible and ask God to give him discernment of what those words mean, take their own “immortal” soul and risk spending eternity away from all source of goodness, love, joy, peace and happiness and spend in a devil's hell?
I've often wondered when I read these words, when God talks about the “Lake of Fire”, what could be the source or synonymous of that everlasting punishment?.Obviously, it is very hot and causing excruciating torment for those who are so unfortunate to receive this for their banishment from the presence of a Holy God. The Bible is clear of its eternal destruction of the soul's of men. I don't know, but theorize it would be something along the lines of our own sun. It is thermo-nuclear and we don't know what the interior of that ball of exploding gases are comprised of....but think of it, how would a person endure being at the center of something like our sun? Would you even want to know?
JESUS SHOWED US THE WAY
But take heart, my reader. You don't have to spend eternity in a devil's hell and be cast into a “lake of Fire” to endure torment and separation from God for all eternity. For at the end of the Book of your bible, there is an invitation to all who will listen to the call of the Holy Spirit:
16 “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17And the Spirit and the bride (the redeemed church) say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:16-17)
How can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)
I beseech all who read this message, to open your heart and your mind, and let the Holy Spirit who is calling all who will listen to repent of their sins, and change their mind about the life they have been living, to embrace Jesus, the Son of the Living God who died for your sins and mine.
8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)
2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2nd Corinthians 6:2)
Make no mistake, to do otherwise will bring you to the edge of hell, as the mouth of hell has opened it's mouth wide to receive you.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your redemption through the only way to enter heaven's glory, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all until hopefully, WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Nearing Midnight: Unexplained Wealth Order and Civil Forfeiture – Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Governments around the world have passed laws that allow them to steal people’s money and other assets. If you are traveling across the country and you get stopped by law enforcement, they can seize any large sum of money without charging you for any crime. They will say this is drug money, and you have to go to court to get it back.
The original idea for civil forfeiture was a good thing. It has been used to restore money stolen by fraud and other schemes by corrupt politicians. Civil forfeiture targets cybercrime, fraud, and scams in high finance at Wall Street, and money laundering on a global scale. It enables police to have sufficient power to “return money to crime victims” in instances of swindling or fraud. Civil forfeiture laws were helpful in enabling authorities to seize and return swindled funds by the Bernard Madoff fraud.
Civil forfeiture should have been heavily regulated because it is very open to abuse. If law enforcement lacks morality, civil forfeiture can be used as a valuable tool to steal from people. I’ve written about Civil forfeiture before, and the problem is only getting worse.
I found four cases where people had their money stolen by dirty cops. In some cases, people lose a large part of their money because of large fees to lawyers. I’m glad the fourth guys beat the system and won:
A couple was driving from New York to Florida, and they were stopped by police because of a cracked windshield. During questioning, the officer decided that $32,000 cash in the van was “probably involved in criminal or drug-related activity,” seized it, and shared it with federal authorities under equitable sharing. The victim hired a lawyer to get back the seized money, who urged them to settle for half of the seized amount. After the lawyer’s fees, the victim got back only $7,000.
Matt Lee of Clare, Michigan, was driving to California with $2,500 cash when pulled over by police in Nevada, who seized almost all of the cash under suspicion that it was a “drug run.” Lee hired an attorney who took half as his fee, leaving Lee with only $1,130 remaining.
A New Yorker piece detailed abuses in Tenaha, Texas, where police would target out-of-state drivers using rental cars, often not issuing traffic tickets. Police sometimes ask stopped motorists to sign “roadside property waivers,” which, unless signed, threaten criminal charges unless valuables are handed over; the waivers say, in effect, that victims will not contest the seizure in exchange for not being arrested.
Javier Gonzalez was carrying $10,000 cash in a briefcase and got pulled over in Texas. Deputies handed Gonzalez a waiver that if he signed over the money and did not claim it later, he would not be arrested, but if he refused to sign the waiver, Gonzalez would be arrested for money laundering. Gonzalez signed the waiver, wondering if the officers were real “officers of the law” and wondering if he got robbed. He later sued the county, which lost and returned his cash plus paid him $110,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees.
The dollar amount of the Civil forfeiture is actually rather small. A 2020 study found that the median cash forfeiture in 21 states which track such data was $1,300. In low-income communities, the seizures are typically less than $500. Stealing money out of people’s wallets will only breed hatred for cops.
There is now a new angle of attack by governments called the Unexplained wealth Order (UWO). It is a type of court order issued by the government to compel the target to reveal the sources of their unexplained wealth. UWOs were first introduced in Britain by the Criminal Finances Act of 2017. Persons who fail to account are liable to have assets seized after an enforcement authority, such as the National Crime Agency (NCA), need to make an appeal to the High Court.
The power of UWOs in fighting money laundering lies in their reverse onus principle. Some drug lords have piles of money piled to the ceiling because they can’t put it in a bank. If they claim to be a farmer by trade, the courts would rule against them in a (UWO) case if they had $400 million in holdings. Gangster Al Capone was worth $100 million in today’s money, and perhaps as a joke, he claimed to be a used furniture dealer.
UWOs work fine on a large scale, but they can be dangerous on a small scale. A rich friend may give someone an expensive car. When the person goes to register it, the government may demand to know how he could afford such an expensive car. If his friend suddenly dies, the government gets a free car to auction off.
These open-act highway robberies by governments and local enforcement are just one more reminder that this place is not our true home. Any treasure on earth is very unlikely to survive the tribulation.
“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20 ESV).
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This Crucial Sign Tells Those With Eyes To See That Jesus’ Coming Is Near – By Tim Moore - https://harbingersdaily.com/this-crucial-sign-tells-those-with-eyes-to-see-that-jesus-coming-is-near/
The regathering of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is prophesied repeatedly in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus offered another clue to the timing of the end of the age when He mysteriously cursed a hapless tree. What was the Lord communicating — to His surprised disciples and to us — by His seemingly uncharacteristic action?
A Nation Cursed and Cast Aside
When Jesus walked throughout the Promised Land 2,000 years ago, Israel was already past its prime. The golden era under David and Solomon had come and gone. Divided into Israel and Judah, the Jews had been conquered by the Assyrians and Babylonians and carted off into exile. Fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, Cyrus had encouraged Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Waves of exiles returned from the east, repopulating the Land — even as Samaritans and others now shared the territory once known as Israel.
Then came Alexander and his generals, followed by Rome and its legions. To the Caesars, the Jews of Judea were a bothersome population in a backwater territory who were frustratingly insistent on maintaining their own religion. Convictional Jews longed for the Messiah. Zealous Jews sought a military leader to throw off Rome’s yoke. None of them were expecting the Anointed One to lay down His life on a cross.
While He ministered, Jesus consistently challenged the expectations of His disciples and His followers. He showed them that God is not pleased by sanctimonious religiosity, but with repentance and obedience. Through His death, He offered the innocent blood needed to ensure that God’s wrath would pass over anyone who put their faith in Him.
Jesus’ message was clearly for the Jews first, even as He demonstrated a willingness to bless Gentiles as well. However, His love for individual Jews was matched by impatience with the Jews as a collective whole. That is why He offered His disciples a dramatic object lesson by cursing a hapless fig tree on His way to cleanse the temple of money-changers.
Matthew 21:19 KJV – “And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.”
That fig tree, found barren of figs even though it was not the season for figs, withered dramatically at Jesus’ command.
Cast Aside, But not Forsaken
We are sometimes convinced that Jesus was meek and mild to the point of being a wimp. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus balanced unfathomable power with absolute control. He did not lash out in rash anger or wring His hands in the face of evil. With a word He stilled a storm, healed broken bodies, and restored life. He described the judgment that would fall upon Jerusalem and the Jews in general, because most of them refused to accept Him in their time of visitation. Symbolized by a fig tree, the nation that bore little fruit would itself be cursed to wither for a season.
Approximately 40 years after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, Rome’s 10th Legion put down a Jewish insurrection with an iron boot, destroying the temple in the process. Those Jews who were not slaughtered in Judea were driven out of the Land.
For the next 1800 years, Jews became known as outcasts and vagabonds. They were persecuted and ostracized. They were forcibly converted and then accused of heresy. Inquisitions, pogroms, and edicts kept them down and out in most of the places they dared to try to live. Lacking much fruit in the season of His first Advent, the Jewish nation was cut off and cast aside for almost two millennia. The lesson of Luke 13:6-9 was applied to God’s own chosen people.
But that is not the end of the story.
During the long centuries of the Diaspora — the Jewish dispersal among the nations — as the Jews were afflicted and oppressed, the Land became barren. Although in the fullness of time, God prepared both the people and the Land to realize the prophetic promises.
In the late 1800s, a few impassioned Zionists were advocating for a Jewish state. However, most Jews believed they were accepted by the societies in which they lived. The Jewish emphasis on academic study and financial prowess made them excellent students, musicians, businessmen, artists, doctors, scientists, and citizens. In spite of lurking antisemitism and episodic persecution, most Jews were content to pursue quiet lives in places like Germany, Poland, France, and Russia. All that would change in the 20th Century.
Preparing the Land for the People
Lest we get ahead of our story, it is important to realize that just as fertile soil is required for a healthy fig tree, the Land had to be prepared for the people before the Diaspora could return.
Over the centuries following Rome’s expulsion of the Jews in 70 AD, the Promised Land fell under a curse. Known as Palestine (the Latinized version of the name given to the Holy Land by the Romans), it was controlled by a succession of foreign powers — including Christian crusaders and Islamic caliphates. By the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire obliterated the 1000-year Christian Byzantine Empire and began to rule Palestine with a heavy hand.
God’s curse lingered on the Land throughout the millennia of the Jewish exile — as foretold in Ezekiel 33:28-29. And make no mistake, the Land was forsaken — denuded of vegetation, deprived of people, and largely devoid of life. In 1869, Mark Twain documented the cursed status of the Holy Land in his book, The Innocents Abroad. He rightfully understood that God’s hand of judgment had fallen on His own Promised Land.
But when Europe was consumed by war early in the 20th Century, the “sick man” Ottoman Empire sided with Germany. It chose poorly. In the aftermath of the war, the victorious allies divided the Ottoman territory among themselves. Thus, France came to oversee Lebanon and Syria, and the British acquired a mandate to govern Palestine and Trans-Jordan. For the first time in almost two millennia, the Jewish Seder prayer, “Next year in Jerusalem,” seemed like more than a throw-away sentiment.
Once the land was wrested from its Ottoman occupiers and a commitment had been given to support Jewish aspirations, the reestablishment of Israel would have seemed to be a fait accompli. But Jewish motivation was not yet sufficient to emigrate to a Middle East wasteland.
The horror of the Nazi Holocaust changed Jewish hearts and minds. Jews realized that away from their Promised Land they would always be homeless. So, by the thousands (and eventually millions) they streamed back to Eretz Israel — the Land of Israel.
The fig tree branch was becoming tender and beginning to put out leaves.
Now Learn This Lesson from the Fig Tree
In the week between the triumphal entry of Palm Sunday and His crucifixion, Jesus spoke much about Israel’s rejection (Matthew 21:28-44), the shift of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Matthew 22:1-14), and the judgment about to fall on Israel (Matthew 23:13-39). He also responded when the disciples asked Him, “Tell us, when will these things (the destruction of the temple) happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3).
We have extensively addressed the discourse that follows in Matthew 24. But the lesson of the fig tree offers a key to understanding the timing of the end. Jesus said, “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:32-33).
There are many signs contained in the proceeding 27 verses. But Jesus specifically pointed His disciples back to the dramatic lesson of the fig tree from earlier in the same week. The fig tree that was cursed for failing to bear fruit for the Messiah would be restored. And, along with all the other signs of the times, that crucial sign tells those with eyes to see that He is near.
Evidence Right Before Your Eyes
Ask the average Christian to describe a present-day fulfillment of Bible prophecy and they’ll probably look at you funny. The idea that God is actively bringing His ancient promises to pass before our very eyes is something they probably haven’t considered.
But over the past 100 years, the amazement of Habakkuk 1:5 is once again appropriate: “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days — you would not believe if you were told.”
That was the way the Lord described His plan to raise up the Chaldeans to sweep across the Jewish nation. Habakkuk was appalled at the horror of such a judgment and registered his complaint before the Lord. God reiterated the finality of His declaration, saying, “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).
In the case of the most important prophetic sign of all, the evidence is right before our eyes. The withered tree that did not bear fruit when Jesus was here 2,000 years ago has become tender and put forth new branches. We know that He is coming soon.
I Know the Plans I Have for You
Throughout the Old Testament, God offered glimpses of His plans — His Gospel plan, His plan to discipline yet protect and preserve Israel, and His plan to bring all of human history to a close. Scoffers have dismissed the relevance of His plans for ages because God has tarried. But those of us who put our faith in Christ are given understanding when we “read and heed” (in the language of Revelation 1:3 and 22:7) His prophetic Word.
In his beautiful song, “It Is Well With My Soul,” Horatio Spafford wrote, “And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight…” Some of the glorious promises of Bible prophecy still await fulfillment. Others are being fulfilled before our very eyes. We can bear witness to God’s faithfulness by pointing to the promises He is keeping right now. That is also why we take pilgrims to Israel: to bear witness to what God is doing in our own day and age.
Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
Take a moment and read Psalm 107.
In light of the Diaspora (the scattering of the Jews) for almost 2,000 years, see if that Psalm does not describe the Jewish regathering “from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south” (v. 3). One day Jewish eyes will be opened en masse to see the Messiah. Until then, you and I have a great privilege. We are among the redeemed mentioned in verse 2. We know already that the LORD is good; that His lovingkindness is everlasting.
If you are among the redeemed of the Lord, don’t miss an opportunity to say so. In the words of Psalm 107:43, “Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the loving kindnesses of the LORD.”
In conclusion, all of the great prophetic promises fulfilled just recently in the land of Israel prove that we are living on borrowed time!
Why Mary? - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Do you ever wonder why God chooses certain people to do great things? For instance, why was Noah chosen to build an Ark to save mankind from God’s judgment? The best answer to that question is that he was obedient to God. “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9. He wasn’t sinless, but he didn’t give into the evil world around him; his human genome was pure and not tainted by the fallen angels. His forefathers had been pure in their choices. In fact, his family throughout their generations honored God. Noah’s great-grandfather was Enoch, who is a picture of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24. The way you serve God will affect generations to come; Noah’s line follows through King David to the birth of Christ. The key to being used by God for great things, is following Him in the way He prescribes. Instead of telling God what you will do for Him, be willing to do what He asks of you. Another example is King David. David was a shepherd boy, the youngest son of Jesse. While he watched over the flocks, he learned skills that would prepare him to lead the nation Israel to greatness. He learned to fight and defend what was his. He also had time to observe the things around him and was amazed at the creation of God. “ The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalm 19:1. He saw God’s handiwork in the stars, sun, moon, and all of nature. He didn’t worship nature, but he worshipped the Creator. As a child, do you think he would grow up to be king? God saw the strength in him. Queen Esther was another person who had a heart for service to God. She was taken captive by King Ahasuerus when he was looking for a wife among the young women of his kingdom. Esther was Jewish and shouldn’t have been among those under consideration, but she was chosen to be queen. It’s amazing to see how God is able to make circumstances work for His glory. Many events took place, and the Jewish people were about to be wiped out by Satan’s evil servant Haman, but because Esther honored God, the plan was thwarted. “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16. She trusted God and courageously went before the King and the annihilation of the Jewish people was averted. What do all of those people have in common? In spite of what the world thought, they were obedient to God.
For centuries, God’s prophets had foretold of the coming Messiah, and through the ages He was anticipated. As happens quite often, people became discouraged while they waited. Isaiah had foretold that a virgin would give birth. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14. Over the years, the religious leaders began changing what God said, to what seemed more logical. How could a virgin become pregnant? As the Pharisees became more powerful, they didn’t want to share their power with anyone. Not even with God. The Scribes should have been aware of the truth, because they were skilled in the Law and prophets. They were the ones who “taught and developed the Law”. If they had been true to God in their interpretations of the Scriptures, they would have been much wiser leaders, but they put personal preferences and understanding into their interpretations. Sort of like what lawyers and politicians do today. God’s word should be pure and unaltered. Had God’s prophecy been taken as truth, they would have been looking for a virgin who was with child. Instead of believing mis-truths and looking for a mere man, they would have found God. Still the question remaubs, “Why Mary?” It’s true that she was a virgin engaged to Joseph. Both Joseph and Mary were from the Tribe of Judah and the line of King David, but I’m sure she wasn’t the only one who fit that requirement. She was human, which was another requirement. That may seem odd to say, but some hold to the erroneous belief that she was not human, but that she herself was of God, and therefore able to be a fourth member of the Holy Trinity. That can’t be. Scripture describes Mary as a humble young woman and she probably would have been mortified over the way some people have elevated her to an object of worship. If she had been anything other than a mere human, there would have been no way for Jesus to be our Kinsman (fully human) Redeemer (fully God).
I can’t imagine what it would have been like for Mary. She lived in Nazareth, and a carpenter named Joseph had asked to marry her, and her future seemed certain. Like other engaged men, Joseph went away to build a home for the two of them to live in with any children that would come along after the wedding. Meanwhile, Mary was learning the responsibilities of being a wife. Nothing unusual about this arrangement. One day Joseph, her bridegroom, would surprise her and take her away to live with him. Sounds like the Rapture, doesn’t it? That was the traditional Jewish wedding, and a “picture” of our Bridegroom, Jesus, gone to His Father’s house to build a place for His Bride…Christians. One day He will come for us, and we need to be ready. The Rapture will surprise us, but there are signs happening that tell us it will happen soon. Now, back to Mary.
Mary seemed to have a very normal life, but one day she got a huge surprise. The angel Gabriel paid her a visit. “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke 1:26-27. Can you imagine how you would feel if an angel suddenly appeared to you. I think This was the angel, Gabriel who always brought tidings regarding the Messiah. This visit was no different. “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Luke 1:28. That’s quite a greeting. Mary, was favored, but not because she was anything other than a sweet young Jewish woman, who loved God. The message Gabriel had for her was astonishing. God had chosen her to give birth to His Son. She could refuse to be part of the plan, but if she accepted, it would mean she could be stoned to death. Children are only to be conceived inside of a marriage. At the very least, it would mean Joseph would no longer be under any obligation to marry her, and her prospects for any marriage would be very dim. The message Gabriel delivered invited her to give birth to the Son of God. “And the angel said unto her, Fear Not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33. Wow, what a message. How would you react? For centuries, all of Israel looked for their Messiah, and now Gabriel told Mary, she had been chosen. Still, she had to agree to this offer.
Mary wanted to understand. She knew that she was not married, so becoming pregnant was not possible. She asked questions. “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” Luke 1:34. God can make anything happen. People might not understand how He works, and may make up stories about how God should do things based on human understanding. If we would just believe God, we would be so much better off. Gabriel explained how it would happen. “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.” Luke 1:35-36. Elisabeth was having a baby? Elisabeth was past the age of child-bearing, and Gabriel had delivered the message to her husband, Zacharias, that Elisabeth would bear a son. That was surprising, but that son would be known to us as John the Baptist. We should never doubt God. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37.
To answer the question, why Mary, we only have to look to Scripture. “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38. She didn’t spend a lot of time speculating, or questioning, she just accepted the message from God, and went forward in obedience and humility. Just like Noah accepted the task God put to him, though he didn’t fully understand. He was to build a huge ark because it was going to rain. It had never rained before but, by faith he obeyed God. God was right. It did rain and the entire world was flooded. What if Noah had refused? King David could have refused to be king of Israel, preferring to quietly tend his sheep, but in obedience to God he became a wonderful king of Israel and the most respected king of all. David loved God and served Him with joy. What about Queen Esther? She was a woman, which meant she was totally subject to her husband’s whims. Because she also loved God and her fellow Jewish countrymen, she put her fear aside when she discovered a plot to kill them. Now it was up to Mary. She chose to be obedient to God’s plan for her.
We all have the opportunity to humbly submit to God’s will. First, we have to believe God and His word. Then we need to submit our will to His even if we don’t understand all parts of the plan. We all need to step out in faith and trust God to work out the details. You can be sure that God will not ask you to give birth to the King of kings and Lord of lords. That was done once. Still, you could be the one that God uses to share the Gospel with someone who needs to come to salvation through Jesus. Do you know that there will be one last person come to salvation before the Rapture? “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25. Can you imagine the joy of being the one to share the Gospel with the final person who needs to hear before the Rapture. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him who they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14. Even if you’re not the one to share with the last one to accept Jesus before we are all taken Home, everyone needs to be given the offer of salvation. Then it’s up to them. They can accept or reject the offer, but you need to share.
Why Mary? Because she was obedient. Why you? Hopefully you will be obedient.
God bless you all,
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Daily Jot: Stupidocrisy: Government Sex - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
It’s sex here, sex there, sex everywhere. The government is promoting sex. Joe Biden is promoting sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. That’s what the government is about these days. Biden and his merry crew celebrated the “Respect for Marriage Act” signing, which codifies same sex marriage into law, by using the occasion to promote sexual grooming and exploitation of your children and grandchildren. Hey, just telling it the way it is. On the invitation list was drag queen activist Marti Cummings, whose Twitter account is private, but his tweets were outed by some of his liberal buddies. This is a guy who said, and forgive me in advance for this quote, that “the kids are out to sing and suck D.” That’s Joe Biden’s guest.
Cummings said anyone who thinks drag isn’t for children is wrong. Announcing his invitation to the Respect for Marriage Act signing, Cummings tweeted (according to Brietbart and other sources), “To be a non binary drag artist invited to the White House is something I never imagined would happen. Thank you President & Dr. Biden for inviting me to this historic bill signing. Grateful doesn’t begin to express the emotions I feel.” Well, Mr. Cummings, there are a lot of us in America that agree with you. We would have never imagined that this would happen. So Biden and his wife are showcasing what this Respect for Marriage Act is by inviting a sexual predator to the White House? Couching the obvious in neat little scientific terms like “non-binary” and “drag artist” is just putting lipstick on the Artiodactyla Suidae. Perverts in the White House.
While the simple explanation for the Respect for Marriage Act is that it makes it law that its ok for people of any sex to marry one another, what it really does is normalize all this crazy sexual perversion. It codifies into law that people of the same sex can get married and even more so, be respected. This ultimately means that since these types of marriages are legal, they are also normal. So what we are going to see in our schools is a whole lot more of this drag queen, teaching children that they don’t have to be the sex that they are, that boys can use the girls bathrooms, and that minors can have sex change operations without parental consent. All this is coming, as if it wasn’t here already. Thanks to the government and its obsession about sex. Just be prepared. The government has in effect legalized sexual predation on America’s children.
If you believe the Word of God, you are at odds with the government. Just to be clear, the Lord says in Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” He repeats it again in Leviticus 20:13. “Oh, that’s Old Testament,” they say, “Christ changed all that.” Not so. Romans 1:24-28 says, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves…for even their women did change the natural use in that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another…God gave them over to a reprobate mind…” Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman. Christ said so. Government is supposed to protect, not endorse, sexual abuse of kids. This is, say it with me…Stupidocrisy.
Daily Devotion: An Essential Christian Belief - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
For unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins. —John 8:24
The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets: God became a man. When you really stop and consider it, no other way would have accomplished God’s goal.
Of course, it would have been possible for Jesus to come into this world as a complete yet sinless human being without a woman bearing Him. In other words, He could have just appeared and said, “Here I am—God in human form!” He wouldn’t have had to go through the entire process of being born in Bethlehem and being raised in Mary and Joseph’s home.
But if Jesus had come to us that way, He would have seemed unapproachable. It would be hard for us to believe that He was someone like us.
On the other hand, Jesus could have been born of two human parents, and God could have supernaturally intervened and caused Him to be without sin. But then, that could have given us a nagging doubt about whether He was really the Messiah.
God could have chosen other ways to send His only Son to Earth, but He chose the right way, even the logical way. Of course, the Virgin Birth was a miracle, an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence brought forth by the hand of God. If you don’t believe that, it means that you don’t believe what God says. It also means that you don’t believe He can do miracles. However, if you believe that God will do what He says and can work miracles, then you can believe in the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.
Jesus said, “For unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24 NLT).
Believing in the Virgin Birth is essential to being a Christian. It’s necessary if you are a true follower of Jesus Christ.
FROM THE HEART
Let Us Make the Short Time We have Left,
Count for ALL of Eternity!
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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"AS YOU SEE THE DAY APPROACHING"
If You Died Today, Would You Go To Heaven?
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How to know God
DID YOU KNOW?
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Maranatha! (Lord Come Quickly)
"On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All other ground is sinking sand."
"Let Us make the short time we have left count for all eternity!"
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